Thursday 05/21/15 7PM
New Museum TheaterVisit Us

Realism Materialism Art Book Launch

Cover Image:

Matthew Ritchie, diagram in Realism Materialism Art, 2014 (detail)

Presented in conjunction with R&D Season: SPECULATION.

Celebrate the launch of Realism Materialism Art, an anthology of essays and artist projects published by the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, in conjunction with Sternberg Press. Combining theoretical presentations with artistic interventions, the event will feature artists Diann Bauer and R. Lyon with curators Mohammad Salemy and Natalia Zuluaga alongside the book’s editors, Christoph Cox, Jenny Jaskey, and Suhail Malik.

The book will be available at a discount at the event. A reception at the Artist’s Institute, 163 Eldridge Street, will follow.

Realism Materialism Art provides an introduction to the diversity of new realist and materialist philosophies and examines their resonances within the arts. Encompassing neo-materialist positions, object-oriented philosophies, and neo-rationalist theories, the book serves as a primer on “speculative realism,” considering its conceptual innovations as spurs to aesthetic thinking and artistic practice. Despite their differences, these philosophical positions propose that thought can and does think outside itself, and that reality can be known without its being shaped by and for human comprehension. This position sharply contrasts with the philosophical and cultural view that has become dominant over the last half century, a view that affirms the indispensability of interpretation, discourse, textuality, signification, ideology, and power. Today’s realisms and materialisms explicitly challenge many of these now-prevalent assumptions of cultural practice and theoretical inquiry, opening up new domains of artistic inquiry.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, in conjunction with the Education and Public Engagement program at the New Museum.


Education and Public Engagement programs are made possible, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation. Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund, and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

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